The UK Government recently posted new guidance for placing goods on the British market from 1 January, 2021. Here’s the most important takeaways for manufacturers:
- The UKCA mark will replace the CE mark for products traded in Great Britain
- Most CE marked products can continue to be traded in Great Britain until 1 january 2022
- UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market
- It is encouraged to apply the new UKCA marking as soon as possible
The one-year grace period effectively means that legal responsibilities will remain unchanged for most manufacturers. However, since businesses must transition from CE marking to UKCA marking before 2022, we will discuss the new UKCA marking in more detail to help you prepare for this important legislative change.
What is the UKCA mark and when will it be required?
The United Kingdom will formally leave the EU market and customs union on January 1st, 2021. At this point, the European CE framework will be replaced by new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) regulations. The UKCA will cover most goods that currently fall under the scope of EU Regulations and Directives, for example:
- Construction Products
- Radio equipment
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Gas appliances
- Medical devices (read specific medical device guidance here)
Due to the one-year grace period, most CE marked products can continue to be traded in Great Britain until 1 January 2022, although there are several exceptions (see below). The UKCA deadline of 1 January 2021 also does not apply to “existing stock,” i.e. all products which have been manufactured, CE marked and placed on the market before this date.
For which products does the grace period not apply?
A product is required to bear the UKCA marking from 1 January 2021 if all of the following apply:
- It is intended for use in Great Britain
- It falls under the scope of legislation requiring UKCA marking
- It requires a third-party conformity assessment
- The conformity assessment has been carried out by a UK body
- The manufacturer has not transferred the relevant files to an EU recognized body before 1 January 2021
Until when can I continue to use the CE mark?
As mentioned, the CE mark will remain valid for most products sold in the UK until 1 January 2022, although it is advisable to apply the new UKCA marking as soon as possible. All products which continue to be sold in the UK with a CE marking must adhere to the following:
- Products must be CE marked on a basis of self-declaration
- If conformity assessments are required, they must be carried out by an EU-recognised notified body
- All certificates of conformity that have been approved by UK notified bodies must be transferred to an EU-recognised body
Can I apply both the UKCA and CE mark to my product?
Products may bear both the UKCA and the CE mark as long as they are compliant with both UK and EU regulations. Currently, the requirements for new approach goods are the same in the UK and the EU. Please bear in mind, however, that if EU regulatory changes occur which are not adopted by the UKCA framework, you will no longer be able to use the CE marking in the UK.
Will UKCA marking be recognized in the EU?
UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market. Products currently requiring a CE marking will continue to require a CE marking for trade in the European Union. To continue selling products in the EU, producers who are based in the UK will need an authorised representative to do so.
Please note that this guidance specifically relates to manufacturers placing goods on the market in Great Britain. If your business is based in the UK and you would like to know more about selling products in the European Union after January 1st, 2021, contact us. We are happy to help you prepare for this change.